Listed horse racing club Manila Jockey Club Inc. (MJCI) has triumphed in a legal battle with racing and gaming regulators over the control of unclaimed dividends. In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, MJCI said it received a decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacoor, Cavite dated July 27, 2016, granting its petition for declaratory relief and ruled out that unclaimed dividends eyed by Philippine Racing Commission (PRC) and the Games of Amusement Board (GAB) are indeed private funds of MJCI. The legal tussle stemmed from PRC asserting control over the disposition of unclaimed dividends, which are dividends from winning tickets that are not claimed by the holders. In November 7, 2013, MCJI filed a petition for declaratory relief with the RTC of Baccor, Cavite, contesting that there is no law authorizing the PRC, GAB and any other government agency to control the disposition of unclaimed dividends, and that the dividends are part of MJCI’s private funds. This is based from the rule written in every betting tickets, indicating that winning tickets must be claimed within 30 days from date of purchase. Otherwise, the prize thereof shall be forfeited in favor of MJCI. Despite undisclosed amount of the unclaimed dividends, the RTC decision enables MJCI to declare the dividends as part of the company’s private funds.
Kristyn Nika M. Lazo